Testing out 8i

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I finally moved my wine club’s site and blog off Netfirms (which sucks) and onto 8i Networks, where I’ve paid for only one month in order to figure out whether they are going to work for us. There were a few minor hiccups in the setup, such as me somehow not receiving the welcome email that told me how to login and set things up, but everything seems to be working now.

In their favour, the performance is hugely better. I can now consider setting up the entire site on WordPress, which allows me to update it from anywhere, since the MySQL performance has been fine so far.

Email is a bit problematic.

  • I still don’t have their SMTP server working, and am using Sympatico’s SMTP for sending mail from Outlook, which is fine from home but won’t work if I’m travelling with my laptop.
  • I’ve turned spam filtering on, but it doesn’t seem to be working. In fact, this is a global setting (turn on SpamAssassin) for all accounts, rather than allowing each user to set their own parameters. Considering the amount of spam that goes to the public email address for this site, that’s unacceptable.
  • The webmail client provides a choice of SquirrelMail and Horde, neither of which I really like.
  • The webmail uses port 2095, which could be blocked by some firewalls or proxy servers. I have complete control over my network, but there’s no promising that this is going to work in every internet cafe that I visit when I’m travelling.
  • It doesn’t seem like it’s possible to forward a copy of all email to another account, either from the admin side or the user webmail side.

On the plus side in email, it is possible to configure an email box with any amount of space (presumably up to my disk limitations, which are pretty substantial). This is better than GoDaddy’s solution, which is a maximum of 25MB with a domain email account; why can’t these guys all provide a couple of GB like Yahoo does for their paid hosted accounts?

Anyway, I’ll be testing it out over the next 3 weeks or so, but I won’t take the WordPress version of the site live until I know that I’m staying on 8i.

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